Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Put the Book Down

I have a very dear friend who has been under attack recently by chickenheads who didn't like what he had to say on immigration. While deeply sad for him, I could not understand what it was that was making these attackers so upset. If they didn't like what they were reading, simply put down the book. Don't read that one, then another one, and another, working yourself into a hateful frenzy, looking for more reasons to despise someone you barely know.

Put the book down.

We have freedom to avoid anything that causes us distress. We don't even have to think thoughts that are worrisome, anxiety-producing, or anger-building. If you don't like what you are reading, put the book down. Not every word was written to reach all ears. In the same way that I have faith that the words I am writing were meant to be written, I have equal faith that the ones who are meant to read them will find access. In this world view, I suppose the attackers were meant to feel angry, hurt, or out-of-control. He got some pretty nasty e-mails. I know because I read them. They accused him of being exactly the opposite of what I had found him to be. They said he lied. He is one the most honest writers I have ever read. They said he had the story all wrong. He was there, he lived it from both sides of the angry border. For him, these words gave him strength, made him stronger. Through fire, they honed him and made him more into what he was meant to be. For the chickenheads? Who knows?

Life lessons like this are not painless, but my friend, in his honest wisdom, sent this quote to me and I think it says it best:

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything and anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you

--David Whyte

We may not like the chickenheads, the ones who would attack us for who we are, but even this bright burning brings with it a gift. For me, on this day when I was attacked (possibly with justification) it has made me into something stronger, more determined to speak my mind, to stand tall and clear, flawed and flawless, as I am.


leelaji said...

Hi La,
I remember that nickname now! You are wonderful and brave and I so enjoy the heartfelt honesty and insight of your writing. I don't know if you remember my daughter Maggie; she had her first novel published last year; Sleep Before Evening - you can google it or go on - I think you would like it, or her website
Your kids are really beautiful and have that sparkle in their eyes - I love your posts.

lakshmi said...

Hi leela,

Thank you! I don't remember Maggie off-hand--but my memeory isn't what it used to be. Seeing someone is usually easier. It's wonderful about her book! I'll check it out. This blog has been a brave, bold move for me and I find that I love it--so thanks for coming to see me.
Much love,